New York (Dec. 18, 2002) -- Local CPA firms remained stable over the past year, despite the impact of corporate scandals on the economy and the accounting profession, according to results of the 2002 Management of an Accounting Practice Survey.

Nearly all 2,500 respondent firms (98 percent) either grew or remained the same size in the past year. Thirteen percent experienced an increase of 20 percent or more in fee revenue, PCPS, the AICPA Alliance for CPA firms, and the Texas Society of CPAs reported.

On average, respondent firms had 12 employees, eight of whom were CPAs, and roughly $1.5 million in revenue. For all respondents, the three largest sources of income were tax services (45 percent), write up/data processing (13 percent) and auditing and attestation (11.2 percent). On the other side of the balance sheet, the largest expense for the firms surveyed was non-owner professional salaries, totaling $386,580 on average, or 25.5 percent of total expenses.

Average salaries ranged from $31,031 for an entry level CPA to $66,981 for a CPA with more than 10 years of experience. Owners earned an average of $161,481 and took home 33 percent of their firm's income, which for a typical respondent firm equaled $500,000. The average number of hours charged ranged from 1,273 per year for an owner to 1,513 for a CPA with four to five years of experience, while the average billing rate of an active owner was $153/hour. A CPA earning $50,000 billed $83/hour.

The report is free to PCPS-member firms. It can be purchased online at .

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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